Study Material of Patol Babu, Film Star (Summary, Character Sketch and Word Meanings)

Summary of the Chapter

One morning, as Patol Babu was about to go out shopping, his neighbour, Nishikanto Ghosh, came to visit him. He told Patol Babu that his brother-in-law, who was in the film business, was looking for an actor and Nishikanto had suggested Patol Babu’s name. He also assured Patol Babu that he would be paid for the role. Patol Babu was taken by surprise because he had not expected to be given a chance at this age. But, Nishikanto knew that he had acted on stage when he was young and so suggested his name.

As he went on to buy provisions from the market, Patol Babu was excited and this made him mix up his wife’s shopping list. He was preoccupied with his thoughts about the days when his name brought people to see the plays and theatricals he acted in. He was passionate about acting. Back then, he had a good job in the railway factory in Kanchrapara. Later, he got a better job offer in Calcutta and moved here with his wife. All was well and Patol Babu was thinking about starting a club in the neighbourhood when he lost his job due to the war and its effects. After losing his job, Patol Babu had to face many difficulties to earn a livelihood. He tried various things, like opening a variety store and working as an insurance agent in order to survive. In his day-to-day struggles, Patol Babu forgot about his acting talent, but at times he would recall lines that he had learnt for his acting.

Naresh Dutt arrived at Patol Babu’s house and offered him a small part in a film. The role was of an absent-minded, short-tempered pedestrian. He instructed Patol Babu about the way he had to dress and told him to be at the shooting the next day at eight thirty sharp. He also gave him the address of the place. Patol Babu eagerly accepted the role but wanted to know whether the role was a speaking one and when he got a positive reply, he was relaxed. After Naresh left, Patol Babu broke the news to his wife and reminded her how he had started on the stage with a small role.

Patol Babu arrived promptly at eight thirty. He was dressed up for the part, too. He saw many cars and a bus that carried equipment. The place was crowded with people but Naresh Dutt was nowhere to be seen. Patol Babu was feeling hot because of his warm jacket and he was just moving towards the entrance when Naresh Dutt called him. He praised him for his punctuality and asked him to wait under the shade till he was called for his turn. Patol Babu did as he was told and stood under the shade of a paan shop. Looking at the young people working with the equipment, Patol Babu could not help admire the hard work involved in making a film.

Patol Babu was worried about the dialogue that he had to deliver because no one had given him his lines and he needed to practise, even if his role was a small one. As he was about to ask someone, the shooting started. A man standing next to Patol Babu told him that the hero of the film was Chanchal Kumar and although Patol Babu did not watch many films, he had heard the name before. Patol Babu enquired about the director so that he could tell his wife when he got back.

Finally, Naresh Dutt gave him his lines and when he saw the dialogue, he felt as if they were making fun of him because it consisted of a single word, ‘Oh.’ He was told that he should feel lucky that he got a role in a film directed by Baren Mullick and the hero was none other than Chanchal Kumar. Although he was a little upset, he thought he would make the most of the situation and started practising his single dialogue in different ways.

Before his turn, Patol Babu suggested a rehearsal, but he was turned down. He was given a moustache that rather suited him and was told to start the role. Patol Babu became so engrossed in his role that the collision looked a real one. Everyone praised his timing and he was asked to wait so that he could be paid. Patol Babu knew he had done a good job and he was satisfied. Acting was his passion and he did not want to wait to be paid and so he quietly left the scene.

Terms and Meanings from the Chapter

• Bald Headed - having a scalp wholly or partly lacking hair
• Beyond his wildest dreams - in a way he had not imagined
• Aubergines – a type of vegetable
• Verged on obsession - could not think of anything else
• Smooth sailing- having no problems
• Toying with the idea - considering an idea
• Retrenchment – reduction
• Recalls at times with a sigh- sometimes remembers past events and experiences fondly
• Twang - To emit a sharp, vibrating sound
• Cast an appraising look- to consider or examine somebody or something and form an opinion about that person or thing
• Rise to fame and fortune- becoming famous and wealthy
• Make a go of it- become successful
• Tremor – shakiness
• Perspiration – sweat
• Embezzlement – theft
• Essence – soul
• Edification – guidance
• Obeisance – respect
• Apathy - lack of interest.
• Perspicacity - ability to understand somebody or something quickly and accurately
• Excruciating – severe
• Blunted his sensibility - reduced his acting talent

View NCERT Solutions of Patol Babu, Film Star
Previous Post Next Post